Seattle / 23-24 January
Join us for ESOMAR Bootcamp – brand new ideas, brand new format and brand new research training. Across two days take away an in-depth understating of the tools, skills and thinking that are needed to communicate research.
Join us to celebrate the social value of research! The European Insights Summit showcases the crucial role the insights community plays every day to inform policy debates, provide evidence for crucial service upgrades, and help business leaders drive economic growth.
Let’s come together as we identify the future of the insights industry, and the role it can play to accelerate Europe’s transition towards a data-driven society!
Not-to-be-missed Key Speakers’ line-up at Africa Forum 2017: Research and Innovation, Made In Africa! organised by the African Market Research Association (AMRA) in association with AMISE (Morocco), MSRA (Kenya), NiMRA (Nigeria), SAMRA (South Africa) and ESOMAR. Join and build your Africa network; Share and learn innovations; Shape researchers’ future; Make African history!
Book now and ensure your place!
ESOMAR brings together the data, research and insights community for ESOMAR MENAP 2017 – two days of content, exploring ‘Connecting and Collaborating for Impact.’
A sneak peek of the programme is now online – check it out and register today!
The regional highlight of the data, research and insights community goes to Mexico City for the 22nd edition of ESOMAR LATAM 2017 – more ‘IN’ than ever!
Exploring #IN: INsights, INtelligence, INnovation – the impressive agenda is now online and registration is open!
Register by 27 January to get the early bird ticket rate!
By Sally Wu, Steve August, Sjoerd Koornstra, BV Pradeep and Jake Steadman
Who are the individuals who’ve played a role in guiding others into or through the industry? We talk to prominent researchers from around the world and ask: who’s had the greatest impact on your career in research?
By Mario Van Hamersveld and Willem Brethouwer
Global Insight Leaders Will Be In Demand
The marketing intelligence industry needs insight leaders who are committed to high performance and excellence. They need to be confident and assertive, yet sensitive in the way of they handle their team. They will need to be able to blend classic with more emotional intelligence. They should be charismatic and engender in their team a curiosity that encourages everyone to constantly ask questions to drive the business forward. In addition, insight leaders need to show maximum integrity to their team, company and competitors.
Let’s look at some of the traits of the insight leader.
Big Picture Visionaries
Leaders also need to be able to have a helicopter view. They need to be outside-in thinkers who can look in on an issue from the third corner to see what needs to be done to make sure the insight team, and the organisation, do not flounder because they are working in the minutiae of the issue, rather than on the big drivers of success.
Insight teams need to be motivated if they are to work under continual pressure to challenging deadlines, tight budgets and to high quality expectations. We need leaders who are motivators who can accommodate and respect the demands of millennials and post-millennials working in our industry – each with a different set of employee expectations.
Conceptualisers Who Can Handle Complexity and Shades of Grey
A key trait of most leaders is their ability to know what are the critical complexities that need to be addressed, and to differentiate these from confusing/irrelevant issues that are not critical to a solution. This is all about the ability to identify the key concepts in play. We all feel reassured when we see this in our political leaders but become increasingly nervous then this fundamental conceptual understanding is missing.
Whole Brain Thinkers
Customer insight leaders need to feel comfortable with left and right brain thinking in solving a particular problem. They need to be at ease when deductively working out quite tight puzzles, and at the same time, excel in solving complex problems with possible more inductive reasoning. They need to know when to go for intuitive System 1 thinking, and when to favour more System 2 rational thinking.
Influencers and Persuaders
Our customer insight leaders need to excel at influence and persuasion. They need to at every touch point – at every dialogue with senior stakeholders – be convincing and plausible around what it is they are saying and the judgements they are offering. They must not hide behind their data in the hope that the senior stakeholders will understand. They need to be constantly seen as influential and persuasive.
There are many definitions of what constitutes the entrepreneurial mindset, but essentially this centres on having the ability to constantly take action to solve problems. It is about taking personal responsibility for making things happen. It is about getting the balance right between knowing when some risk is required, as opposed to playing a safer game. So our insight leaders need to have the entrepreneurial gene.
Good leaders will have a full understanding of who they are as individuals in terms of their overall capability skillset. In addition, they will be able to see how their own personal leadership traits and skills fit with other individuals. They will then be able to adapt the relationship between their own style and others depending on different business scenarios and contexts. In the workshop, we will provide a model to help individuals understand who they are and how they think, and what this means in terms of how they should best interact with others to achieve outcomes that are to the mutual advantage of all parties.
Customer insight leaders will be constantly asking these questions: How do I strengthen my impact? How do I make sure I am inspiring all those around me? How do I maximise the potential of my team? How do I make sure that every member of the team is a problem simplifier who radiates energy, rather than a problem confuser who drains the energy from the team?
The ESOMAR Workshop is 12-13 November
The Workshop can help people transform and develop their leadership style. It is not about improving research skills. It also goes beyond sharpening up overall business consultancy skills. It can foster personal growth and leadership skills.
The Workshop is aimed at creating leaders who are the go-to people for the organisation when it wants an informed opinion of what is happening in a particular market or sector. It creates individuals who will be seen as the insight entrepreneurs, who are driving the change agenda for the organisation. But, most importantly, it creates inspiring insight team leaders.
If you want to know more about the workshop, check out the website and register now.
By Mario Van Hamersveld and Willem Brethouwer
By Stephanie Alaimo
To follow Monday’s theme of empathy, Tuesday brought a talk from Annelies Verhaeghe, InSites Consulting (Romania), David van Dongen, SkyTeam International Airline Alliance (Netherlands), Farrell Styers, InSites Consulting (Belgium) and Pieter De Vuyst, InSites Consulting (Belgium). The talk, titled “Research as a Customer Service: How SkyTeam is creating truly consumer-centric research” noted how it is customers, not products or brands that must be at the center of any company. Their aim in their new program was to create a program that truly placed customers at the center of their research – this would reflect not only their business goals, but would also refocus their approach to research.
One of the most interesting findings presented was that in simply asking customers how their experience had been, they felt more valued. Maybe they felt that SkyTeam was empathizing with them? Maybe they even felt empathy for SkyTeam? However they experienced it, customers feet that the brand was talking directly with them, caring about what they had experienced, and cared about any issues they might have had. This effect was even more pronounced, since every customer was asked to respond to research that indicated that their journey had been considered, and taken into account. Since customers could tell that their itinerary had been noted and considered, the research must have felt even more personal – the exact details of their experience were important. This was another finding – people feel most valued not just when they are being asked to participate in research, but when it is clear that their needs and patterns have been noted. Finally, when they are being directly addressed and engaged by a company or brand, they feel that they are actually having a conversation, that their opinion is important, and that they are truly valued.
The research also demonstrated that pictures and stories made the research more usable, more relatable, and more inspiring. Not only was it that having direct communication with consumers made consumers feel more valued, but the brands could also appreciate, and empathize, with customers much more easily when that communication was not only direct, but also visual and contextualized. In essence this research program was a true collaboration between the consumers, the researchers, and the SkyTeam brand. This three way conversation allowed for all parties to feel inspired, and of course, inspiration leads to innovation.
Also in consumer-centric research was a paper presented by Alison Poole and Stacie Haber, both of Mercer (Australia). Opening their talk with the reminder that small insights can make a huge difference, told the story of how Australians were habitually leaving multiple employment-linked retirement accounts open, and as a result paying multiple fees, and missing out on compound interest. They were also frequently losing track of the accounts, since every new job caused a new account to be generated. This amounted to 3 millions of lost account, and 17 billion dollars, all simply because Australians had lost track of their accounts. At first, it seemed obvious that Australians would want to merge all of their accounts into a single account with Mercer. The financial benefits were so very obvious. But, for some reason, they were not consolidating their accounts.
They needed a few small insights in order to figure out why this might be. Not surprisingly, their research revealed that the process of consolidating accounts was tedious and difficult. It required people to have all of their account data, which they obviously did not have. Research also revealed that Australians would be most likely to consolidate accounts in the first 90 days of opening an initial account with Mercer. These two “small” insights led Mercer to give Australians an option : Mercer could hunt down all of their accounts, and consolidate them, if only they had permission. They also began sending reminder emails two weeks after the initial account was opened. With these two changes Australians rushed to combine their accounts with Mercer. The program was a huge success, because the real stumbling block had been removed, and a timely and convenient reminder was sent.
With these two great results, it is no wonder that market research is growing. However, it is also true that budgets for market research are decreasing. Ray Poynter presented “10 Things You Need to Know About Global Research: Key learnings from the ESOMAR 2016 Global Prices and Global Market Research Studies”. But what exactly does it mean for the industry, if research is increasing, while budgets are falling? Poynter found that newer technologies are driving research, lowering costs, and providing more adaptable ways to conduct research. The result then, is not that profit margins for research are shrinking, but rather that research is becoming less expensive to conduct, and that more and more companies globally are seeing the value in conducting market research. What a relief!
Stephanie Alaimo is one of the official RWC bloggers for Congress 2016.